Home Remedies For Norovirus

© Robert S. Donovan

© Robert S. Donovan

Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus that causes acute gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the intestines and/or stomach. The most common symptoms of Norovirus are sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and nausea.  Other symptoms may include headaches, body aches, and fever. Symptoms usually last up to three days before subsiding. There is however, no specific treatment for Norovirus.  Since Norovirus is a virus, rather than a bacterial infection, it does not respond to antibiotics. Below are some home remedies for Norovirus.

One of the greatest dangers of Norovirus is that of dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea cause individuals to lose an extremely large amount of fluids from the body, which can result in severe dehydration. The fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea must be replaced. If you have Norovirus, you should be sure to drink lots of water. For adults, sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade can help with dehydration.  Also light soups such as chicken or vegetable broth.

Children who have Norovirus and become even slightly dehydrated may need an oral rehydration fluid that is specifically designed for children. They are available over the counter in the form of liquids like Pedialyte. Watch for signs of dehydration, including dizziness, dry mouth, decrease of urine output, and fatigue. Children who become dehydrated may cry with few or no tears.

Some individuals who have Norovirus experience a decreased appetite while sick. They simply do not feel hungry. However, it is important to make sure that your body still gets the nutrition and calories it requires, even when you are sick. Eating small meals and a bland, (boring) diet can help to decrease vomiting and make it easier to keep your food down. The Mayo Clinic recommends that individuals with Norovirus eat soup as well as starches and cereals like potatoes, noodles, rice, or crackers; bananas; yogurt; and broiled vegetables.

Meals should be small, consisting of small portions of just one or a few different foods. You may want to eat more than three meals in a day.
Avoid eating large meals or extremely flavorful, spicy, or greasy foods. In addition, refrain from consuming beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine.

One important part of dealing with Norovirus at home is doing your best to prevent Norovirus from spreading to other members of your family. Norovirus is extremely contagious and can be spread through contaminated food or water or between person-to-person contact. You can spread Norovirus once you are infected, even before you experience symptoms. You can continue to spread the virus for as much as two weeks after your symptoms stop. Clean and disinfect all surfaces in your home and limit your personal contact with others. If you hear of a Norovirus outbreak at your place of work or school or in your neighborhood, be sure to wash your hands frequently and be cautious with your interactions with others.

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